About The Choir

Who We Are


Lady Cove Women’s Choir

Founded in 2003 by Kellie Walsh, Lady Cove Women’s Choir was named after the remote community of Lady Cove on Newfoundland’s rugged yet beautiful east coast. The name Lady Cove is representative of the spirit and philosophy of the Choir: a community – a haven where woman-identified members come, not only to explore their own musicianship, but to share their lives and experiences in a sisterhood.

Our mission is to reveal the strength, versatility, creativity, and beauty of women’s choral music; to expand the repertoire for women’s voices by commissioning and reviving works; to provide talented and dedicated woman-identified musicians with exceptional musical and interpersonal experiences; and, to actively contribute to the ongoing evolution of culture in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Lady Cove Women’s Choir is a highly respected member of a vibrant and diverse arts community, both in Newfoundland and Labrador and across Canada. Lady Cove’s programming spans a wide variety of musical genres including renaissance, gospel, traditional, world, jazz, contemporary choral theatre, and classical music – and the choir strives to strike a delicate balance between performing and sharing accessible works, with creating new musical experiences that challenge both audiences and choir members alike.


A Reputation for Excellence

Lady Cove has garnered a national and international reputation for excellence, not only for its high-performance standard but also for its innovation and creativity.

A two-time winner of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s biennial choral competition, Lady Cove won first place in the “Equal Voices Female” category (2006) and the “Contemporary Music” category (2008). In 2008, Lady Cove was the only Canadian choir invited to participate in the Béla Bartók International Choir Competition in Debrecen, Hungary, winning first place in the “Equal Voices Female” category. In August 2011, Lady Cove was featured as one of only twenty-five choirs in the world invited to perform and present at the 9th World Symposium on Choral Music in Puerto Madryn, Argentina. Immediately prior, Lady Cove gave keynote addresses for The Phenomenon of Singing International Symposium VIII and the International Council for Traditional Music World Conference, undertaking an innovative multimedia project to explore how choral music can act as a vehicle for the preservation and re-visioning of traditional culture. In 2013, Lady Cove won two gold medals at Interkultur’s World Choir Games in Riga, Latvia, and was one of only fifty ensembles (out of 500 choirs from 70+ countries) to receive a mark of over 90% from a jury of seven international choral experts. In 2016 and 2018, Lady Cove was invited to perform and present workshops at Podium, Choral Canada’s national conference and festival in Edmonton, Alberta, and St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, respectively.

Lady Cove released its debut album, Lady Cove, in 2008, which was nominated for MusicNL’s “Classical Album of the Year” award. In 2013, Lady Cove’s second recording Heart’s Delight was awarded the MusicNL award for “Classical Album of the Year”. Lady Cove recordings are available on Spotify.


Commissions & Collaborations

Lady Cove believes that choral music has the potential to unite people and cultures, and transcend geography as well as social, political, and economic circumstances. For these reasons, Lady Cove strives to reflect the diversity within our community and seeks opportunities to develop meaningful, reciprocal relationships and collaborations. A few notable examples are:

  • No Matter What: A full-length choral theatre work commissioned by Lady Cove and written by composer/lyricist Jonathan Monro about the resilience of the women of Newfoundland and Labrador, both past and present.
  • Volanti: Three unique concert collaborations between Lady Cove and nationally/internationally acclaimed aerialist performers, iFly Aerial Arts. Watch video
  • Warrior: A joint concert and video with Indigenous-led group, Eastern Owl, exploring reconciliation and sisterhood though choral music. Watch video
  • Shiny and New: A Christmas story about an immigrant Canadian family navigating Christmas in small town Newfoundland and Labrador in order to find mutual curiosity and respect for one another’s cultural and family traditions. Shiny and New was commissioned by Lady Cove, written by Robert Chafe, and is now a nationally published children’s book.
  • Makkipok: In collaboration with Newman Sound Men’s Choir, the Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra, soprano soloist, Deantha Edmunds, and under the guidance of Dr. Tom Gordon, this performance explored and celebrated the Moravian choral and orchestra traditions that were brought to Labrador by missionaries and translated into Inuktitut over 200 years ago. The performance was live-streamed by Memorial University’s Centre for Innovation in Teaching and Learning to ensure that the concert was accessible to viewers in Labrador.

Lady Cove has partnered with many Canadian composers by commissioning new works and arrangements almost every season, including Kathleen Allan, Sean Carroll, Stephen Chatman, Stephen Hatfield, Christos Hatzis, Leslee Heys, Ramona Luengen, Jonathan Monro, Jason Noble, John August Pamintuan, Sarah Quartel, Imant Raminsh, James Rolfe, Mike Snelgrove, Jeremiah Sparks, and Andrew Staniland, among others.

The choir has also hired, collaborated with, and promoted nationally celebrated Canadian artists such as violinist, Mark Fewer, Toronto-based percussionist, Beverley Johnston, acclaimed tenor, David Pomeroy, Juno nominated jazz singer, Heather Bambrick, Juno winning multi-instrumentalist, Duane Andrews, playwright, Robert Chafe, poet, Agnes Walsh, and theatre director, Danielle Irvine, to name just a few.


Dedicated to Our Community

Beyond excellence in performance, the choir has forged a mandate that speaks to the potential of building community through choral singing and the choir’s obligation to support and engage with youth, woman-identified community groups, and charitable organizations. As such, Lady Cove has constructed a program of activities that reflect the responsibilities we feel towards the communities that support us and to which we belong.

Our annual bursary program, which has grown to include multiple awards, provides encouragement and monetary support to promising young musicians as they pursue their music education and training.

In June 2012, Lady Cove embarked on its first island tour, visiting several communities in Central Newfoundland, including our namesake, Lady Cove.  The choir visited schools to give performances, workshops, and private music lessons to local students. In February 2016, Lady Cove Women’s Choir funded a tour to Labrador to work and perform with the Pan-Labrador Youth Choir. One of the unique aspects of this collaboration featured the young Inuit singers who helped guide the final version of a commissioned work by deciding to incorporate traditional drumming and throat singing and teaching all members of the choir how to sing the piece in Inuktitut.

The commission of the Christmas story, Shiny and New, was an important catalyst for Lady Cove’s relationship with the Association for New Canadians (ANC) and the families affiliated with this organization. The choir has continued to build our friendship with the ANC and continues to offer free tickets and assistance in attending concerts to new Canadian families now living in our community.

As well, Lady Cove regularly participates in benefit performances for countless groups in the community with special consideration for women’s causes and education. The choir, through its multiple outreach programs, is dedicated to bringing music, resources, knowledge sharing, and mentorship activities to the furthest reaches of our province.


What’s Next for Lady Cove

As Lady Cove approaches its 20th season, we continue to strive to create innovative and inspiring projects and programming, to expose choral music to an even more diverse audience, and to connect with traditional and cultural bearers, contemporary storytellers, singers, composers, conductors, filmmakers, designers, and digital innovators in a way that is ground-breaking for our community.

Check out our current season.